Saturday, 28 June 2014

Daylighters review

(The Morganville Vampires #15)

By Rachel Caine


While Morganville, Texas, is often a troubled town, Claire Danvers and her friends are looking forward to coming home. But the Morganville they return to isn’t the one they know; it’s become a different place—a deadly one… 

Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire and her friends were away. The town looks cleaner and happier than they’ve ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated—vampires from humans—they realize that the changes definitely aren’t for the better.

It seems that an organization called the Daylight Foundation has offered the population of Morganville something they’ve never had: hope of a vampire-free future. And while it sounds like salvation—even for the vampires themselves—the truth is far more sinister and deadly.

Now, Claire, Shane and Eve need to find a way to break their friends out of Daylighter custody, before the vampires of Morganville meet their untimely end…

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:

The last in the Morganville Series, in this book we see how much Morganville has changed now that the town has been taken over by humans rather than vampires. Some would think this was a good think, seeing as the vampires were the sole reason why everyone who enters Morganville is stuck there and always on edge, trying not to be the next snack on a hungry vampire’s list. The town is being run by Daylighters, and they are pledging that the humans can now live peaceful lives. However, it’s not really peace if there are people (albeit non-breathing people) suffering.

All the vampires are being imprisoned at the mall, for everyone’s ‘safety.’ This includes the ex-founder Amelie, her arch-nemesis/companion Oliver, Michael and Myrnin, all of which are very important to Claire and her friends. What makes it worse is that the vampires are forced to wear shock collars to keep them under control, and are being fed modified blood that isn’t quite satisfying their hunger.

Claire is out to fight for vampire rights, but this is being made more difficult when she sees the human residents so happy and carefree with their new lives. Claire doesn’t want ot take that away from them, but at the same time she has to protect her friends and what is right, because something is definitely not right. The new leader, Fallon, appears caring from afar but to what ends will he go to ‘cure’ the vampires?

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Morganville book, and I have really missed Myrnin and his crazy personality. I’m sad to see the series ending but its been a great one. Plus, I hear there is a tv series based on Morganville, due to release this Summer – Yay me!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

The deputy turned around and gave her a cold, hard stare. ‘Sit quietly,’ he said. ‘if you don’t, I’ll shock you until you do.’
‘With what, your breath? Ever heard of flossing, Deputy Dimwit?’

‘Or?’ Fallon asked. It wasn’t confrontational, really, just an interested question.
‘Look, you clearly do not know who you’re screwing with,’ Eve said, and she was definitely confrontational, a whole lot. ‘I want my husband back, Osama bin Crazy, right the hell now!’

‘Why is it you can only wreak havoc, anyway?- Why not, I don’t know, world peace?’

‘We need to know what exactly they’re planning to do,’ Eve said and took in a deep breath. ‘I’ll go.’
‘How do you plan on finding anything out there? With the power of your awesomeness?’

He grabbed her and kissed her. ‘You brought me grenades. You are officially the best girlfriend ever.’

He’d moved so fast and decisively, and the woman wasn’t moving. ‘Did you-is she-?’
‘Oh, bother, don’t make that face, Claire. No, I didn’t kill the wretched woman, I only knocked her out. I know how you feel about such things. Though she does smell delicious.’

Besides, I must go back tonight before they miss me, which means the collar must be intact. Oh, and my head. They’d notice.’
‘We are in the middle of a prison break! Come on, now, don’t dally. Do you have any baggage?’
‘It’s a prison, Myrnin, not a hotel.’
‘Well, modern prisons are so much nicer these days, one never knows.’

‘…I mistrust her, but both Steve and Shane-‘
Eve! Honestly, Myrnin how long have you known her?’
‘It’s a very odd name, you know. Efa, now, that’s a proper sort of name. Or even Aoife,’ he said.

‘Would that be the dead guard in our damn basement?’
‘Well, of course, how many dead guards could there be? Why, did you kill one, too? Wasteful.’

‘What is he dependent on, then?’
‘What are any of you? Air, water, food, the kindness of random strangers.’ Myrnin shuddered, and it looked genuine. ‘I’d much rather be dependent on blood. Much simpler and easier to obtain in times of chaos. Never rationed, blood. And very often freely donated.’

‘…If anyone comes to bit you while I’m gone-well, try not to attract attention. Die quietly.’

‘You wound me, sweet lady.’
‘You annoy me, troublemaker.’

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Push and Shove review

Push and Shove 
(The Ghost Bird #6)

By C.L. Stone


Sang Sorenson struggles with her growing feelings when the Academy boys take her in and draw her closer into their world. They work together to uncover the true secrets happening at Ashley Waters High School, where Principal Hendricks will stop at nothing to take them all down. 

Adding to their complications, Nathan’s father shows up, and he’s just as ruthless and violent as ever, beating up on Nathan. Sang offers Nathan refuge in her home, but Marie is fed up with the boys. She wants them out--all of them—and wants them to take Sang with them. Where will Sang go? What will happen to Nathan? And what about Mr. Hendrick’s spies, watching all of them? 

Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North will have to focus to get out of this mess, but with Sang assisting them, they’re struggling to keep control. They all promised not to make a move on Sang unless she initiates, but the tension is driving them all to distraction. With the help of Dr. Green and Mr. Blackbourne, they will have to stay strong and engaged. But A first kiss is imminent, and will cost them all more than they could ever have imagined.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 5/5

My Thoughts:

An avid fan of the Ghostbird series, and all other books by C.L. Stone, I was incredibly excited to read book 6, released in June 2014. In this book we see how Sang gets closer to her academy boys, and at the same time further from her sister Marie. Now that Marie knows Sang isn't her real sister, she hates her more. Marie blames Sang for her mum being in hospital, even for their dad leaving them; none of which was Sang's fault. 

At the same time, there's always a problem that needs to be solved in the Academy, so Sang is busy trying to help the boys there, and it doesn't help that Nathan's horrible father turns up unexpectedly. McCoy is still out there somewhere, as is Volto and everyone is watching their step because of Hendricks watchful eyes. 

I loved reading this chapter in the series and cannot wait until October when book 7 is released. Sang is getting more confident with the boys but more confused with her feelings too! No spoilers but I'm scared that there will be more trouble between the academy boys in the next book. I just hope it doesn't ruin their family :/

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

"She fell over," Nathan said.
"Yeah," Gabriel said. "I thought girls fainted all graceful. She just crashed."

It seemed the more time I spent with them, the more I felt their absence when they were gone.

The anger in the pit of my stomach eased a bit more every day the longer I stopped thinking about it. It turned into numbness, and from there, it became easier to examine - from a distance.

"Nathan still has to go with you two," North said.
"It doesn't take three of us to take Sang out," Gabriel said.
"No, it takes Nathan, or me, or Silas to keep you three stooges out of trouble. And Silas and I have to work the diner. So either Nathan goes or you all stay."
"I'm a stooge?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
North smirked at me. "Sang Baby, you're the stooge."

"Good thing, too. If I hadn't gone through with it, I never would have met Owen..." He squeezed tighter at my feet, reassuring. "Or you. That would have been tragic if I'd missed you."

"Experimenting is how you figure shit out."

"Kota? We've got a problem. Yeah, another one."

"Shut up, I'm talking to her," he snapped at whoever it was. "Sang, Victor says hi."
"Hi Victor."
"She said hi, now fuck off."

As we started up the stairs towards Marie's room, I felt worse and worse about not being able to tell either of them. Secrets appear worse on the outside.

"I don't know. You broke her. You fix her." There was shuffling. "I'm going to go wash the dishes."
"I already did," Mr Blackbourne said, although his voice was almost too soft to hear.
"I'm going to go break one then!"
"They're my dishes! I'll do it if I want to."

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Review of The Race for Polldovia

The Race for Polldovia

By James Rochfort


Nine-year-old Sophia daydreams about the beautiful Princess Polly and the fairytale land of Polldovia. One day she finds herself inhabiting this fantasy world but a very different one to that she has so far imagined. 

She and Polly are in Suspyria, Polldovia’s war-ravaged neighbour, ruled by the warlord Naberius and his monstrous Dark Army. Imprisoned in Naberius’ fearful dungeon, escape is their only means of survival and a hair-raising chase ensues. 

Their quest is to find a magical flower, the only thing that can defeat Naberius and save Polldovia from being destroyed at the hands of his soldiers. With the help of Acanthus, their magical and faithful steed, Polly and Sophia are caught up in a race against time and must use all their strength and bravery to outrun their pursuers…

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4/5

My Thoughts:

**I received a free copy of this book from Book Guild Publishing in exchange for an honest review.**

Sophia loves to daydream, but her daydreams are different to most. She dreams mostly about a young Princess called Polly, who lives in the country of Polldovia. Sophia has no control over these daydreams in terms of how they play out, but mostly Polly is having a lovely time in her world, saving animals in need and helping wherever possible.

That is until one day, Sophia has a horrible daydream about Princess Polly being trapped in a dungeon by some hideous monsters, and the strangest thing is that Polly is crying out to Sophia for help. At first Sophia can hardly believe it but when she keeps getting a similar daydream, or rather a day-nightmare, she realises that there is definitely something wrong and she must do something to save the Princess.

By some unknown power, Sophia manages to daydream her way into physically being in Polly’s world. The two girls manage to escape together from the monster Nebarius’ castle, and Polly explains how she is searching for a special flower that will save her kingdom from these evil creatures, and their journey begins.

At first, I thought this was more Children’s fiction than Young Adult, but although the story is about a little girl helping a princess, it is written to appeal to slightly older children than I first expected. Sophia and Polly have a unique bond, and I felt that there was something magical about it. 

The length of the book was perfect, and although the story ended on a happy note (no spoilers), I imagine that there is a possibility of this being a series.

Overall, a light, fun read by a new author.

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

Indeed, when she asked her dad if daydreaming was a good thing, they had agreed that it wasn't a bad thing. Good daydreaming always involved a large dose of imagination - and using your imagination, they had agreed, was healthy for the brain.

If the people of Polldovia had laid all their hopes with their Princess, then she had laid all her hopes with Sophia. The fate of a nation was in the hands of a nine-year old. It seemed ridiculous.

'Destiny and fate. If you are meant to see each other again, then you will.'

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Review of Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Dreams of Gods and Monsters
(Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3)
By Laini Taylor

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:

I have finally managed to read the conclusion to this most awesome series. It took me a few chapters to get back into the story, purely because it had been so long since I had read the last instalment that I had forgotten what it was about. But once I was in, I was hooked. 

I can't help wishing Brimstone came back but alas that isn't possible, no matter how many Wishes there are. 

This book is told from various perspectives, obviously Karous and Akivas, but then there are others top, and their part in the story only makes sense later on. For example, the Stelians importance is only made evident in the final chapters of the book- no spoilers! 

Jael and his army of angels have landed on earth and are being welcomed by Rome with open arms. Humans are worshipping them, and as a result chaos ensues. Meanwhile, the Chimaera are being killed off and the rebel misbegotten are in hiding with the hope of killing Jael soon. 

The two enemies have a common enemy, Jael, and they try to put aside their differences to fight together. Akiva recognises new powers in him, but he has no way of controlling it, whilst Karou is trying not to make her love for Akiva obvious, especially since Ziri is in the white wolf's body but no one knows this yet. The chimaera need the white wolf as their leader and anything else will cause more rifts, something they cannot afford. In the midst of all this is Karou and Akivas mutual attraction but even if they are finally on the same side, it is virtually impossible for them to actually be together! It's sad but sweet because they both know there are more important things at stake.

And of course there is plenty of Zuzana and Mik, with their funny conversations and crazy imaginations. They bring a lightness to the book and despite their lack of super powers, manage to save the day many times. 

I'm sad to see this series end but I'm sure laini Taylor has plenty more exciting stories to come! 

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

It was a rule of secret-keeping, in which she was well-versed: Ask not, lest ye be asked.

People with secrets shouldn't make enemies, she warned herself. 
And, clear and unbidden, as if in response, from some deep layer of memory, arouse her mother's voice. "People with destinies," it said, "shouldn't make plans."

Not much, but some. Which should be fine, right? All she had to do was come up with a plan to avert the apocalypse and somehow convince these grim and hardened soldiers to adopt it. In...approximately twelve hours. While deep in a trance, performing as many resurrections as she could.
No big deal.

It was shame. Shame never faded, and Liraz realized only now that this was the baseline of her emotions-her bitter, curdled "normal"-and that her soul was poisoned soil in which nothing good could grow.

"They should treat it like an alien invasion," Morgan had said, and he'd been exactly right, the little pissant. It was an alien invasion. It just happened that the aliens looked like angels and beasts, and came not from "outer space" but from a parallel universe. 

He shrugged. "My wife likes to say that the mind is a palace with room for many guests. Perhaps the butler takes care to install the delegates of Science in a different wing from the emissaries of Faith, lest they take up arguing in the passages."

"You know," observed Zuzana, in English, "you'd probably be a lot prettier if you didn't make that face."

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Review of COHF

City of Heavenly Fire
(The Mortal Instruments #6)
By Cassandra Clare

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

Source: Goodreads

My Rating: 5/5

My Thoughts:

What an awesome and sad and sweet conclusion to the mortal instruments. I bought the paperback and an ebook version, and the paperback looked huge but unsurprisingly, it did not take long to read.

The story continues with Sebastian is becoming stronger and gathering supporters by turning Shadowhunters into Endarkened, determined to destroy anyone opposing him. Although Jace has the heavenly fire running through his veins, possibly the only weapon that can be used against Sebastian, he does not know how to control it. Sebastian is determined to win the war, but despite his demonic behaviour, he wants Clary by his side. His weakness is that he wants Clary to go to him of her own free will, rather than being forced. But Sebastian isn’t human and so he doesn’t understand emotions the way a normal person does. I actually felt sorry for him at times because he wasn’t born human, he was born a demon and then brought up as something worse.

One of my favourite parts of this book was the change in Brother Zachariah (no spoilers!) and learning more about Emma Castairs and Jules Blackthorn. I would love to read more about them!

Magnus played an important part of this book, as always, but unfortunately there wasn’t as much of his dry humour as usual. Possibly because he was going through his painful breakup with Alec, or that he had been kidnapped and weakened in his father’s demon realm!

If you haven’t read the Mortal Instruments books then you must do, this has become one of my favourite series of all times!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

“No killing,” Jordan said. “We’re trying to make you feel peaceful. Blood, killing, war, those are all non-peaceful things. Isn’t there anything else you like?”
“Weapons,” said Jace. “I like weapons.”
“I’m starting to think we have a problematic issue of personal philosophy here.”

“And he’s sorry. He’s sorry about what he did. He won’t do it again.”
“Oh, he won’t sneak around behind my back with one of my exes planning to shorten my life again? Very noble of him.”

Magnus glared at him out of gold-green eyes. “If I wanted to lie on a couch and complain to someone about my parents, I’d hire a psychiatrist.”
“Ah,” said Jace. “But my services are free.”
“I heard that about you.”

You couldn’t make someone love you with a rune, and you couldn’t assuage grief with it either. So much magic, Clary thought, and nothing to mend a broken heart.

The metal was written on in an old language of humans: If I cannot reach Heaven, I will raise Hell.

“Why is it,” he said after a moment, “that whenever I think I’ve found the most terrible thing that could happen to me, I’m always wrong.”
“I don’t repeat my mistakes,” Magnus said, offended.
“You’re right. You make all new and even worse mistakes,” Catarina told him. “Don’t do it, whatever it is. Don’t lead a werewolf uprising, don’t do anything that might accidentally contribute to the apocalypse, and don’t start your own line of glitter and try to sell it at Sephora.”

“...You think they are kind, that the Nephilim are kind, because they are good, but goodness is not kindness, and there is nothing crueller than virtue.”

“Weapons, when they break and are mended, can be stronger at the mended places,” said Jace. “Perhaps hearts are the same.”

“Isabelle!” Simon called. “Stop throwing clothes at me! Just because you’re a Shadowhunter and I’m a vampire doesn’t mean we can never happen. Our love is forbidden like the love of a shark and a-and a shark hunter. But that’s what makes it special.”
“Oh?” Isabelle snapped. “Which one of us is the shark, Simon? Which one of us is the shark?”

It took courage to live an immortal life and not close off your heart and mind to any new experiences or new people. Because that which was new was almost always temporary. And that which was temporary broke your heart.

“All of the Downworld will know soon enough what’s going on. The questions is, where will they stand?”
“We will stand bravely with you!” Malcolm announced. “Well, we will stand bravely near you. Or at least within earshot.”

“I did not make a pie,” Alec repeated, gesturing expressively with one hand, “for three reasons. One, because I do not have any pie ingredients. Two, because I don’t actually know how to make a pie.”
He paused, clearly waiting.
Removing his sword and leaning it against the cave wall, Jace said warily, “And three?”
“Because I am not your bitch,” Alec said, clearly pleased with himself.

...sometimes even change for the better felt like a little death.

“I forgave you because I love you and I hate being without you. I hate it, my cat hates it. And because Catarina convinced me i was being stupid.”
“Mmm. I like her.”

“we are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who love us. As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss.”

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Review of Dear Killer

Dear Killer
By Katherine Ewell

Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.
Source: Goodreads
My rating: 4.75/5
My rating:
The ‘Perfect Killer’ is the most famous serial killer in London since Jack the Ripper. The murders are perfect, without a trace of evidence of who it is, just leaving a letter behind from the person who asked for the kill.

Kit looks like a regular teenage girl, living with her rich mum and her sometimes-around father. She is pretty, but not beautiful, friendly but has no friends, a smart student but not an academic genius; altogether seemingly normal, which is just how she likes it. The last thing she wants is to be noticed, considering she is the ‘Perfect Killer.’

This book is so cleverly written, with murders in creepy detail. Kit’s story is unusual, her upbringing consisted of her mum training her to be an assassin, and her first kills were before she hit her teenage years. Kit begins to get too comfortable, almost cocky in her murders. Her belief is that there is no right or wrong, but she gets to a point when she can’t remember why she kills, only that she’s enjoying it too much. Kit befriends the policeman who is in charge of finding the ‘Perfect Killer’ but doesn’t expect to start having feelings for him. Will he catch her, or will her murderous streak take over her sanity?
Zed (:

Favourite quotes:

Nothing is right and nothing is wrong. For some people a thing may be right, and for others it may be wrong. There is no greater truth to morality – it is merely an opinion.

I forced myself to smile pleasantly, trying to make myself look a little dull around the edges. No one suspected stupid people.

I sighed. “Look,” I said. “This may seem selfish, but here’s the deal. You say bad stuff about my friends, I’ll be mad. You’ll piss me off. But you say bad stuff about me, I get really mad. Really pissed. That sort of thing doesn’t fly with me. You insult me, you end up on the floor like this.”

Sometimes I ask myself, “What does it mean to be me?”
Whenever I ask the question, it just stares back at me. There is never any answer. Just a silence. What does it mean to be me? I don’t know. Maybe that’s just it. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything. Maybe that’s the answer. Maybe all I am is emptiness, is nothing.

What a pity it is that we’ve lived the lives we’ve lived.